• PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1
  • PSB M4U 1

Specs / Features


Specification

Overview
Type Over-Ear
Volume Control No
Playback Control No
Noise Canceling No
Specification
Brand PSB Speakers
Model M4U1
Warranty 12 months
Size 20 x 20 cm (7.9 x 7.9 in)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Clear, accurate sound quality
  • Comfortable to wear for hours at a time

What's bad

  • Passive noise-canceling useless in noise environments
  • Low quality MP3s and streamed audio sound even worse

PSB might be better known for their speakers, but that didn't stop them from releasing their second pair of over the ear headphones, the M4U 1. Taking some design cues from Beats Studio, the M4U 1 sports a shiny, plastic folding headband though they are more oval in shape. According to critics, the headphones are fairly durable and do not creak when twisted, though they also warn that a lot of stress on the hinges could ultimately lead to irreparable damage. When worn, the padded headband and earcups allowed reviewers to wear it without any discomfort, even after extended use.

Included in with the headphones are two cables: one just for connecting the headphones to the headphone jack and another with an inline one-button remote/microphone for phone calls.

Unlike its competitors, the M4U 1's don't emphasize bass. Instead, critics describe them as having a very neutral yet clear sound. At higher volumes, however, What Hi Fi describes the sound as somewhat "shouty" and adds, "A touch of subtlety wouldn't go amiss either." Due to its clarity, other reviewers discovered that low bit rate MP3s or streaming audio sounded less than desirable through the headphones. Noise cancellation is also not a strong point.

The M4U 1's also offer passive noise-canceling, which, according to most experts, worked well in quiet environments. In noisy areas, unfortunately, they found that ambient noise tended to leak through.

The general consensus is that PSB's M4U 1 model is an excellent pair of headphones for audiophiles. CNET states, "The M4U 1 sounds slightly better than the 2, and…[for] audiophiles who prioritize sound quality over everything else, it's hard to beat for the price."

Critic Reviews


What Hi-Fi

An upbeat, unfussy pair of headphones

from What Hi-Fi

We wouldn’t be too deterred by that blocky build – slip them on and you’re more than likely to find they’re light and comfortable.

They’re built to last, although we can’t help wanting a more refined finish and style.

From the brooding tones of...More

We wouldn’t be too deterred by that blocky build – slip them on and you’re more than likely to find they’re light and comfortable.

They’re built to last, although we can’t help wanting a more refined finish and style.

From the brooding tones of The Dead Weather to cheesy ’90s pop tunes, it’s the willingness to get the best out of a recording that makes these PSBs so appealing.

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Digital Trends

Provides premium features that won't disappoint

from Digital Trends

Premium-priced cans deserve premium packaging, and the M4U 2 didn’t disappoint. Pulling the plastic wrap and outer cardboard sheath away revealed a dual-layered box which opened like a book.

The M4U 2 is one of the better ANC headsets we’ve auditioned, bringing ambient noise such as fans, dishwashers, and engine hum to a faint whisper, with little to no compensatory white noise. We wished for more passive isolation from the ear cups themselves, but with music playing at medium volume, our A/C and fan-laden house was transformed into a virtual vacuum — that’s vacuum as in the depths of space, not a vacuum cleaner...

More

Premium-priced cans deserve premium packaging, and the M4U 2 didn’t disappoint. Pulling the plastic wrap and outer cardboard sheath away revealed a dual-layered box which opened like a book.

The M4U 2 is one of the better ANC headsets we’ve auditioned, bringing ambient noise such as fans, dishwashers, and engine hum to a faint whisper, with little to no compensatory white noise. We wished for more passive isolation from the ear cups themselves, but with music playing at medium volume, our A/C and fan-laden house was transformed into a virtual vacuum — that’s vacuum as in the depths of space, not a vacuum cleaner.

The headset provided good noise cancellation, a rich and brilliantly detailed sonic signature, and an impressive feature set, all bundled into one of the most comfortable pair of cans we’ve put on. Though the $400 price tag is steep, frequent travelers who appreciate a refined audio experience will likely find it to be a worthy investment. If you’re looking for a superior ANC headset with all the fixings, make sure you try on the M4U 2 — you might not want to take them off.

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Cnet

Delivers high quality sound in a portable package

from Cnet

The M4U 1 is first and foremost an audiophile headphone. It was designed to be as neutral sounding as possible, so bass lovers might not be satisfied with its low-end prowess. It's also fairly comfortable to wear for hours at a time, but certain competitors, such as the Sony MDR-1R, are slightly more comfortable....

More

The M4U 1 is first and foremost an audiophile headphone. It was designed to be as neutral sounding as possible, so bass lovers might not be satisfied with its low-end prowess. It's also fairly comfortable to wear for hours at a time, but certain competitors, such as the Sony MDR-1R, are slightly more comfortable.

If you're trying to decide between this and the active-noise canceling M4U 2, it really comes down to where you listen to your music and if it's important for you to have noise-cancelling headphones to better muffle ambient noise. However, most active noise-canceling headphones don't sound as good as their passive counterparts, and that's the case here, too. The M4U 1 sounds slightly better than the 2, and at around $300, audiophiles who prioritize sound quality over everything else, it's hard to beat for the price.

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